Webs from Fancy's Loom (II.)

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HENRY PITMAN,
Co-operator and Social Reformer.
BORN 1826, DIED 1909.


BRIGHT, genial, gifted soul, whose long career
    Was crammed with loving service to mankind;
A master of the "winged art," refined
    In thought, in judgment quick and clear,
Yet touched with something of the ancient seer,
Thy voice and pen alike were used to show
    The upward path thy fellows ought to go,
    Thy daily actions proving thee sincere.

Men marvelled at thy sacrifice of self;
    Earth's guerdons had no charms in thy clear-seeing
                eyes —
High place, and power, and fame, and worldly pelf
    Could not allure thee from the heavenly prize;
For thou didst live as all men wisely should,
A life devoted to the general good.


――――♦――――

 
JOHN SHILLITO,
Twenty Years Chairman of the Co-operative Wholesale Society.
BORN JANUARY 19TH, 1832.
DIED FEBRUARY 12TH, 1915.


ANOTHER chieftain fallen in the van,
    Who saw with prescient mind and vision true
    Just what co-operators ought to do;
Stood foremost in the fight, as strong man can
Who loves what's right is ever wise to plan,
    Believing in the goodness of his cause,
    Indifferent to approval or applause,
Puts duty first, in all things plays the man.
And now he's gone — our loss, we trust, his gain —
    We may not pause or falter in the fray,
But strive the more our ideals to attain,
    With ever-steadfast heart press on our way;
Example take from our departed friend,
Work and endure, with patience, to the end.


――――♦――――

 
R. T. BRADBURY, J.P.
DIED MAY 10TH, 1892, AGED 74 YEARS.


HE served his generation well in many ways,
    Not with proud pomp, or noise, or empty show;
But freely gave his precious nights and days,
    Nor cared he that the world his deeds should know.
A man of sterling purpose, dauntless will,
    Of upright life and pure and worthy aims:
In judgment firm, in counsel wise, he still
    Was mindful of sweet mercy's lofty claims.
His motive was the public weal; he sought
    No office for the sake of gain or fame;
But unobtrusively his deeds were wrought,
    And long may we revere his honoured name.
And grateful for the way he's played his parts,
Enshrine his memory in our inmost hearts.


――――♦――――

 
HAROLD BUCKLEY.
BORN SEPTEMBER 20TH, I870.
DIED NOVEMBER 18TH, 1889.


TOO soon to die!   How sharp doth seem the end!
Too soon to lose our son and brother, friend;
A life so bright, a form so lithe of limb,
Thus filling up our cup unto the brim.
Whose youthful promise, ripening out so fair,
Bade us expect a noble manhood rare.
Alas! that such fall 'neath the monster grim.
Too soon for us, but not too soon for him,
The call has come, and he has hastened home.
No longer here below his feet may roam
Amid earth's fleeting shadows strange and dim;
Ere now his eyes behold heaven's radiant rim,
For he has gained that land of cloudless noon,
Where ne'er is heard that bitter cry — "Too soon."


――――♦――――

 
REV. JOHN CHEETHAM, M.A.,
Seventeen Years Vicar of St. Mary's, Greenfield.
BON OCTOBER 31ST, 1843.
DIED JULY 13TH, 1891.


GOD gives His own beloved sleep.   Be still
    Our throbbing hearts, and stay our selfish tears;
Shall we rebel against our Father's will?
    Forgetting that He's better than our fears,
And that behind this dark, mysterious cloud
    The sun of His great love is shining on,
And ever shines, though doubts at times enshroud
    Our poor weak vision, hope seems all but gone.
Shall we begrudge our friend his well-earned rest?
    Is he not happier, better, there than here?
Is heaven not better than earth's brightest best?
    Let us rejoice that he's before us there.
        Safe in his loving Saviour's arms at last,
        All care and suffering now for ever past.

His work is done, but still with us remains
    The memory of his life, unselfish, pure;
O may we learn from him to conquer pains,
    Grow strong in patience trials to endure,
For life with him was no mere pleasure day —
    The poor, the sick, the suffering, and the sad
    Were by his kindly aid and smile made glad;
He did his Christly work in Christ's own way,
Not for the sake of empty, vain display,
    But for the love he bore his fellow-men;
    He sought the erring, bade them hope again,
And shed upon their path a heavenly ray.
    In love the Master's call to him has come
    To bid His weary servant hasten home.


――――♦――――

 
REV. CANON GREEN, M.A.,
Vicar of Christ Church, Friezland, 1849-58 and 1870-96.
Died August 19TH, 1896.


HE served his generation well, and fell
    On sleep as sleeps a tired child at night;
    And now he basks in the Eternal Light
Where all the faithful ones in glory dwell.
His voice, now hushed on earth, in heaven doth swell
    The chorus of the ransomed hosts, who sing
    The praises of their Saviour, Lord, and King,
Who snatched them from the power of sin and hell.
And so he finds his rest, but ours the loss
    Of pastor, husband, teacher, loving friend,
    To whose wise counsels death hath put an end
And laid on us bereavement's heavy cross.
    Be still, ye throbbing hearts with murmurings rife,
    Remember your beloved has deathless life.

Servant of God, well done, now take thy rest;
    Death's sudden call thou hast obeyed with joy;
    Methinks e'en now thy spirit finds employ
In service which delights and crowns the blest.
And through eternity, with growing zest,
    Thou wilt pursue, as here, the highest ends;
    And ever as thy soaring soul ascends
Thou wilt obey thy Master's sweet behest,
And keep with perfect heart His law of love,
    Which in some measure thou didst image here,
    Both in thy life and in thy teachings clear,
For to thy calling thou didst faithful prove.
    Be thine henceforth the exceeding great reward;
    Share thou the joy and presence of thy Lord.


――――♦――――

 
JOHN WOOD NOBLE,
Many years a Deacon, Ebenezer Congregational Church, Uppermill.
DIED OCTOBER 6TH, 1900.


NOT as they mourn who have no hope, mourn we
    Our dear departed one who lies at rest;
    We know that now he's numbered with the blest
Who stand before the Great White Throne, and see
The King in all His beauty — sinless, free.
    A victor crowned is he, earth's struggles past;
    The victor's joy and triumph his at last,
In that fair country where he fain would be.

And yet our ready tear-drops overflow;
    We grieve to part with him — a selfish grief —
We hunger for his voice, we loved him so.
    Be still, each troubled heart, the parting's brief;
If we but will, we, too, may shortly greet
Him and our loved and lost at Jesu's feet.


――――♦――――

 
OWEN PLATT, ESQ., J.P.
DIED MAY 8TH, 1891, IN HIS 75TH YEAR.


NO more we hear his voice, but in our hearts
    Remembrance of his goodness is enshrined
    As some dead flowers their fragrance leave behind
Although their wondrous loveliness departs.
So lingers still the memory of his life
    So calm, and pure, and loving, yet so strong
And firm amid this ever-changeful strife
    For virtue and for right, against all wrong.
We dare not murmur at his going now,
    For that to him is untold gain we see;
Each deed performed as if a holy vow
    Has shown us what our daily lives should be,
And lives like his make life a glorious thing,
Somewhat of heaven to our dark earth they bring.


――――♦――――

 
ON MY THIRTY-FIFTH BIRTHDAY.
JANUARY 26TH, 1886.


MIDWAY upon life's pilgrimage I stand,
    And take a lingering, wistful, backward glance,
    That I may learn some lessons which perchance
Shall make my future life more truly grand:
Help me to see how wisely all was planned —
    How all my troubles, blessings in disguise,
    Were steps by which my spirit might uprise,
And grasp with firmer faith my Father's hand
Outstretched to lift me up above the night
    Into the joy and blessing which He gives
    To every soul that in His presence lives,
And finds in His great love its chief delight.
    Through all the past, Thou, Lord, hast faithful been,
    And Thou art evermore the same I ween.

Now as I enter on life's latter half,
    A cheerful, earnest, hopeful heart I ask;
    And strength and wisdom for life's growing task —
A task no longer — since I have Thy staff
To lean upon, and copious draughts to quaff
    Of living waters to refresh my soul,
    Thy circling arms when stormy billows roll:
In such great blessedness may I not laugh
To scorn old Satan's mad unthinking raff,
    And find my greatest joy in doing good,
    And live where Thou hast placed me as I should
Above the world and all its worthless chaff,
    Secure in life of all Thy love can give,
    Secure in death henceforth with Thee to live?


――――♦――――

 
ON MY FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY.
JANUARY 26TH, 1901.


HOW are my years to half a cycle grown,
    Slipped from me like an early morning dream;
    And, mingled with time's swiftly flowing stream,
Borne out into the gulf of the unknown.
I pause while memory's glance is backward thrown,.
    And scan with care the web of life's design,
    Wrought out by wiser, surer hands, than mine,
Revealed by faith to inner sight alone.
I see that threads I chose not intertwine,
    Replacing showy tints with grey and gold;
    My ill-wrought woof with shame I now behold;
Whate'er there is of beauty, Lord, is Thine.
    Forgive my faithless, wilful, meddling hands
    That wrought contrary to Thy wise commands.

Thy loving purpose through my past I trace,
    Life's future pattern, Lord, I leave to Thee;
    Help me submissive, patient, strong to be,
Dependent always on Thy boundless grace;
Confront the days to come with hopeful face,
    And strong resolve to daily do the right;
    Work, conscious that Thy loving oversight
Doth all my hidden inmost life embrace.
Lord, Thou dost know my weakness and my need,
    My cherished hopes that may not be fulfilled;
My secret motives Thou alone canst read;
    Help me to take what Thou for me hast willed,
        And make Thy purposes in all things mine,
        And so work out with Thee my life's design.


――――♦――――

 
THESE FIFTY YEARS.


THESE fifty years I've trod life's chequered way
    So far in safety kept, sustained by grace;
    I forward look with cheerful, hopeful face,
And in the afternoon of life's brief day
Anticipate its evening shadows grey
    With fearless heart, because through all the past
    God's kindly hand hath led and held me fast;
So I the future wait without dismay.
True, I have suffered grief and pain and loss,
    And seen my loved ones droop to rise no more;
But fiery trial burnt my cumbering dross,
    And left me richer than I was before.
Despite my broken hopes, bereavements, tears,
God has been good to me these fifty years.

My life's meridian now lies far behind;
    What lies before I know not, nay, nor fear,
    For my abiding city is not here,
And all my dear departed I shall find —
When I have done the work to me assigned —
    Awaiting me in that fair land of bliss
    Which more than satisfies the hopes of this.
Faith sees her way where flesh is helpless, blind,
And Hope glows brighter through the purging fires;
    Full well their ever-cleansing power she knows
    While in the crucible my spirit grows,
And love to God and man my heart inspires:
    And thus endowed I rise above my fears —
    God will be good to me through all the years.


――――♦――――

 
WESLEY'S PRAYER ROOM.
Written after a visit to Wes1ey's House, in City Road, August, 1905.

I.


O HALLOWED spot I here Wesley knelt in prayer,
    And wrestled with his Maker, and prevailed. -
    No tongue can tell how far, how much availed
His mighty pleadings at the Throne, nor where
Shall end the streams of influence started there
    In that small room, whose walls, had they a tongue,
    Could tell of lonely midnight vigils long;
Of triumphs over doubtings and despair;
And adoration rapt, as up he rose
    Renewed in strength and courage for the fight,
The master of his keen, malicious foes,
    Who fled before his face with sudden flight,
Dismayed by the bright glitter of his shield,
And left him conqueror on the hard-fought field.


II.


Within this narrow cell I, too, would pray
    What prayer were fitting from my lips; I dare
    Not make my little self my only care
Where this great spirit wrestled on its way;
Yet I must pray, my spirit yearns for prayer,
    And so wells up within―"Thy will be done."
    Reign in my heart supreme, call me Thy son;
Help me Thy truth and glory to declare.
"Thy kingdom come "—around me rolls the tide
    Of human strife for gold, and place, and power,
    The fleeting baubles of the flying hour.
They quickly pass: Thy kingdom, Lord, spread wide,
    Till all earth's teeming millions bend the knee,
    In loyalty, and love, alone to Thee.


――――♦――――

 
TO MY ELDER SON
ON LEAVING HOME, JUNE, 1898.


BE not afraid, although thy path be hid,
    Behold there shines for thee one little ray,
    And thou canst hear a voice within thee say:
"Arise, young soul, go on as thou art bid."

Take up life's task; heed thou the voice divine,
    For he who doth with willing heart obey
    Hath holy peace within, and on his way
The light of heaven itself doth daily shine.

So be thou not afraid, but bravely dare
    To do thy part amongst thy fellows here —
    Sin is the only thing that thou shouldst fear —
To please thy Maker be thy only care.

Be strong, be true, be kind to all, be good —
    Then shall thy life a growing blessing be
    Both to thyself and those who circle thee.
God keepeth all who serve Him as they should.


――――♦――――

 
CASTLESHAW ROMAN CAMP.
OCTOBER 27TH, 1907.


WHILE on this lonely height to-day I stand.
    Methinks I see grim Roman hordes file by
    With martial step and eagles held on high,
And heels firm planted on our ancient land.
They rule our native tribes with iron hand;
    What time the Christ of God in Galilee
    Taught men to live by love, died on a tree,
And gave the world His life's example grand.

Great Rome, to-day thy might of arms is past,
    Thy world-wide empire crumbled into dust,
    As rule that rests on force e'er did, and must!
But Christ, Thy kingdom daily grows more vast,
    And doth all other rule transcend above,
    Built on the might of Everlasting Love.


――――♦――――

 
JUBILEE DAY, 1897.
A MEDITATION ON POTS AND PANS HILL.


O, WHAT a lovely scene before me lies!
    My native hills around, beneath my feet,
    And dear old vales arrayed in verdure sweet,
Bathed in bright summer beams; and azure skies,
Draped with white clouds of varied shapes and size,
    Stretch o'er my head as far as eye can see;
    My God! how wondrous fair Thy heaven must be
If fairer than this sight that fills mine eyes.
Sure Nature here hath donned her grandest guise,
    For dell, and wood, and stream, and verdant mead
    Are full of tranquil beauty, and they lead
My mind to happy dreams of Paradise,
    Where all are from the curse of sin set free,
    And live in one unending Jubilee.

Here Nature smiles, and all her wildness wears
    Unmarred by peddling man's poor clumsy hands,
    Who spoils her work, for he misunderstands;
But she errs not in what she clothes and wears.
Great Father, God! before Whose countless years
    Our jubilees and centuries seem as nought,
    Whose mighty hand hath all earth's wonders wrought,.
Whose loving voice assuages all our fears,
How small our little round of life appears,
    And brief and vain the longest term of man;
    Yea, though lived out e'en to its utmost span,
When measured by the circling of Thy spheres.
    We in Thy sight our nothingness confess,
    And pray that Thou henceforth wilt save and bless.

To-day upon this hoary, rock-crowned height
    We stand where once, perchance, the Druids stood
    To offer sacrifice of human blood,
With many a strange mysterious cruel rite,
And groped their way half blindly towards the light.
    As dawn proclaims the near approach of day
    And drives the gloomy shades of night away,
So e'en some gleams of truth illum'ed their night.
But we would thank Thee for our clearer sight;
    That men these later years grow liker Thee,
    As mirrored in Thy Christ Thyself they see,
And follow where Thy finger doth invite:
    That we, the children of this brighter time,
    Adore Thee here amid Thy works sublime.

I thank Thee, Father, I have seen this day,
    This happy day on which we celebrate
    Victoria's Jubilee, the good and great;
The woman who in her right royal way
So well hath ruled the lands beneath her sway,
    And done what every ruler ought to do,
    By serving Thee hath served her people too;
And in this blessed service now grown grey,
She joins her people's glad thanksgiving lay,
    With reverent gratitude as mortal should,
    Thus honouring Thee, Thou giver of all good,
Whose providence hath kept, Whose love we pray
    Shall all her future days and nights attend,
    And keep her safely to her journey's end.

And for our land we pray, let Peace be ours,
    And progress in whate'er is great and good;
    Our rulers govern wisely as they should;
Fair plenty smiling cast her fruits and flow'rs
Upon our pathway, and the flying hours
    Be laden with the noble at gifts of art;
    Sweet music and rich commerce add their part;
And Poesy, the richest of all dowers
Kind heaven upon a people ever showers,
    Endow us with her best and choicest lore;
    Bright Freedom ever waxing more and more,
Extend her wings, confer on us her powers,
    That we, Thy stewards true, with lavish hands
    May scatter forth Thy gifts o'er all the lands.


――――♦――――

 
TO THE "MILLGATE MONTHLY,"
NOVEMBER, 1905.


GO forth, thou harbinger of better things;
    Spread wide thy pinions, scatter far thy store,
    That all may freely gather up thy lore;
Bid all men live and work as priests and kings;
Knit race to race, until the whole world rings
    With songs of industry, and love, and peace.
    Ah! then war's wicked butchery shall cease,
And peace shall spread o'er all her brooding wings.
Alas! that men this truth so slowly learn —
    That they are all one loving Father's sons,
    And through their veins one common life-tide runs,
That love will bring the peace for which they yearn,
    And end the reign of tyranny and blood
    In one great, universal brotherhood.


――――♦――――

 
TO THE "CO-OPERATIVE NEWS" CONGRESS DAILY, 1907.


HAIL! happy herald of a "News" to be,
    Fly through the land — north, south, east, west; record
    The doings of our chosen ones, their word
Of prophecy that Labour shall be free.
Perusing thee, I dream, and, dreaming, see
    A brighter day dawn for my fellows here,
    Who toil from day to day 'twixt hope and fear,
For pittance poor; they yet in joyous glee
Shall learn that labour can be free from moil,
    When men have learned that they are brothers all,
    And, being such, should serve and break the thrall
Of capital, and join to make their toil,
    Directed by a wise and generous mind,
    Bear fruitage for the whole of human kind.


――――♦――――

 
THE NEW COMET, 1910.


FROM whence art thou, swift comer from afar?
    What may thy mission be, sweet orb so bright?
Celestial stranger on thy fiery car,
    Com'st thou to bless? or cast on us a blight?
Have mortal eyes ne'er gazed before on thee?
    Has some catastrophe just given thee birth?
Or was it thine with Morning Stars to be
    About the cradle of our new-born earth?
And now thou'rt coming back again to find
    Our tiny world still speeding on its way,
All peopled with its millions of mankind,
    Who gaze with wondering eyes on thy display,
        As through the heavens majestic thou dost sail,
        Awed by the splendour of thy glittering trail.

Alas! how little do we know of things:
    So small we are; God's universe how vast!
    A million ages measure not His past;
A million ages hence His future springs:
And God through all the past and future rings.
    His hand holds up the starry courses all,
    Great suns and systems swift obey His call;
And each to Him its meed of honour brings:
The Immanent Creator Self-complete;
    Whose presence all the universe doth fill;
Suns, stars, and comets gather round His seat,
    Or roll through space obedient to His Will:
        And I, though worm of earth, like them would bow
        Before His throne in silent reverence now.


――――♦――――

 
PEACE! PEACE!

On the conclusion of the South African War, June, 1902.


PEACE!  Peace!  The happy news flew far and wide,
    From lip to lip, and Britain's troubled heart
    Grew glad again, because her nobler part
She fain would play; not hers of arms the pride;
Nor sateless lust of blood; nor would she ride
    Roughshod a shrinking world to crush and slay.
    Yea, rather she would hasten on the day
Of world-wide brotherhood — mankind allied.
Poor, smitten Africa.   May lasting peace
    And settled rule, just laws, henceforth be thine,
Bid racial jealousy within thee cease:
    Sons of one great Progenitor Divine,
From out this chaos now of hate and blood
Unite to build a nation great and good.


――――♦――――

 
THE HIGHER LIFE.


GIVE ME SOME THOUGHTS OF THEE.


DEAR God, give me some thoughts of Thee to give
    My fellow men, that they may better know
Thy wondrous heart of love, and learn to live
    And serve as Thou wouldst have them here below.

Alas! that men should know Thee not, such loss
    No other gain can ever hope to meet,
For all things else are less than Thee, and dross;
    Without Thee all we have is incomplete.

But Thou dost will that we should know Thy heart
    Of love yearns o'er us every hour of life,
Woos us to choose Thyself — the better part,
    Because such choice will end our pain and strife.

And Thou dost wait for us with patient love,
    And eyes that hunger for our swift return;
And shall we blindly further from Thee rove?
    With base ingratitude Thy pleadings spurn?

Dear God, who loves us so, not thus we'll pay
    The debt of love Thy love doth lay on us;
We dare not put such love as Thine away,
    Make bankrupts of ourselves, and grieve Thee thus.

We must accept Thy love, and, loving Thee,
    Love all the creatures which Thy hand hath made;
For only as we serve our race can we
    Discharge the debt Thy love on us hath laid.

Thy bounteous hands have giv'n enough for all
    If men but used Thy gifts as Thou dost will;
All would be fed and bless'd, both great and small,
    And Thy sweet peace would every bosom fill.

But men pervert Thy gifts, and mar Thy plan;
    Seize for themselves the things that all should share,
Make curses of Thy blessings, waste time's span
    In one wild scramble, ending in despair.

Thy world is wondrous fair, and full of light,
    And if we only matched it with our lives,
And broke the chains of selfishness and night,
    Then joy and peace would fill our human hives.

Our earth would be a heaven, than Eden bright
    More fair and blest, as Thou wouldst have it be:
A home of beauty, joyousness, and light,
    And men would dwell in brotherhood with Thee.


――――♦――――

 
AS A CHILD.


I WANT to love Thee, Father, as a child,
    And serve Thee ever as a faithful son;
Have patience with my restless wanderings wild,
    Forgive me all the ill that I have done.

I need to learn how little 'tis I know;
    I need to feel how poor I am and weak,
That I more teachable may daily grow,
    More reverent listen when I hear Thee speak.

Help me to trust Thee; Father, as a child.
    Alas! that ever, in my foolish pride,
I left Thee, spite of Thy monitions mild,
    Forgetting I was safest at Thy side.

Ashamed I am that I have dared to be
    Ungrateful for what Thou hast deigned to do;
And I am grieved that I have doubted Thee,
    Who more than all the world beside art true.

I want to know more fully what Thou art,
    And understand Thy boundless love to me;
But here I only see Thy ways in part,
    And so I often misinterpret Thee.

But Thou wilt not misjudge me, for Thine eye
    Canst see the hidden longings of my heart,
Which find no fitting language but a cry,
    And only Thou an answer couldst impart.

O! answer me, in all Thy matchless power,
    And bid my weary, restless yearnings cease;
Now in this silent, solemn, evening hour,
    Fill Thou my spirit with Thy wondrous peace.

Then I shall know the sweetness and the joy
    Of home and rest, instead of wanderings wild;
And ever find it my most dear employ
    To love and serve Thee, Father, as a child.


――――♦――――

 
'T'WAS NIGHT.


'TWAS night, and all was dark without;
    'Twas night, and all was dark within;
My anguished soul was filled with doubt,
    And burdened with its sin.

"There is no God, for all is dark,"
    I murmured in my haste;
"There is no light to guide my barque —
    The world seems one wide waste.

"Why do we struggle?   Why not die —
    Die down into the ground?
Life's but a mockery and a lie,
    For where can light be found?

"Why wish to live, when life is death?
    So swiftly fly our days;
We die with every fleeting breath,
    And everything decays.

"Unsatisfied we always are,
    And hard, alas! to teach;
And what we should be seems so far,
    So high above our reach."

The hours sped on, and morning broke
    The dismal spell of night;
The gladdened earth once more awoke,
    Rejoicing in the light.

I rose, and, bowing low, I prayed
    For faith to work and trust;
The doubts which on my soul had weighed
    And crushed me in the dust

Were all dispelled.   I saw a cross,
    A thorn-crowned dying head.
"How great God's love to bear such loss,"
    A voice within me said:

"Why judge by feeble erring sense
    God's marvellous design?
Thou canst not measure Providence
    By reason's rule and line.

"His ways thou canst not understand,
    Thou hast no right to know
What He has for to-morrow planned,
    Unless He deigns to show.

"Trust Him, His love commands thy trust;
    Serve Him as He desires —
Not grudgingly because thou must,
    But as His love inspires.

"Things must seem dark and strange to thee,
    Since thou but knowst in part;
Couldst thou God's secret purpose see,
    Or look into His heart,

"Thou wouldst not dare nor wish to doubt,
    Nor question His decree;
His love would all thy fears cast out,
    And set thy spirit free.

"Be patient, then, and work and wait
    Till life's short day be past;
God rules this changeful troublous state,
    All will come right at last."

The sweet voice ceased, but long its words
    Kept ringing in my ears;
Faith swept her hand o'er memory's chords,
    Recalled for me the years.

That I might see with clearer sight
    How blest my lot had been,
And walk with ever new delight,
    As seeing the unseen.


――――♦――――

 
GOD'S TIME IS BEST.


GOD'S time is best; be still, my heart,
    And take in faith whate'er He sends.
    Be sure His love thy portion blends;
God never fails to do His part.

God's time is best; whatever thou
    Dost want, or wish for here below,
    His loving Father-heart doth know;
To Him in meek submission bow.

God's time is best; we cannot tell
    The why and wherefore of our lot;
    To doubt His care becomes us not;
He ever doeth all things well.

God's time is best; oh, suffering soul,
    Be strong to bear His blessed will,
    Since 'tis His hand thy cup doth fill,
Love will the bitterness control.

God's time is best; believe it so,
    And thou shalt have within thy breast
    That inward calm and holy rest
Which He doth on His own bestow.

God's time is best for all things here,
    Though strange life's intersecting lines;
    They're working out His grand designs,
He yet will make His purpose clear.

His purpose of eternal love,
    Evolving as the ages run,
    Will yet complete what He's begun,
And fit man for His home above.


――――♦――――

 
UNREST.


AH me! this strange unrest
    Within my heart:
This weary, aching breast,
    And inward smart.
I've tried, but all in vain,
    My heart to still;
And sought to soothe its pain
    With good and ill.
But yet this wild unrest
    Doth e'er remain;
And my poor heaving breast
    Is filled with pain.

Here I can nothing find
    To satisfy
The cravings of my mind;
    In vain I sigh,
And seek from pain release
    And healing balm,
For sweet heart-rest and peace,
    And inward calm.
Earth does not yield the joy
    For which I plead,
And it can ne'er supply
    My heart's great need.

O Spirit from above,
    Descend in peace
And fill my heart with love,
    And bid it cease
From this unrest and pain:
    Make it Thy throne;
And on it henceforth reign
    Supreme alone:
And then my heart will be
    In Thee at rest:
The peace that dwells with Thee
    Will fill my breast.


――――♦――――

 
FORGOTTEN DAYS.


How many days filled to the brim with good,
I have forgotten as they passed away!
Forgotten just because they were so swift,
So even, uneventful, in their course.
But there are days which I can ne'er forget —
Dark days, when earth and heaven against me seemed,
Whose hours of woe a lifetime whole appeared,
For all I loved and cared for most was gone,
And life became a burden hard to bear.
But while I think of them I am at rest.
I know that through my grief I've wiser grown,
And could I live again those hours of woe,
Dark as they were, and know, as I do now,
How full of good those bitter draughts for me:
Methinks the very gall and dregs would be
As sweetest nectar to my longing taste.
For sorrow has more uses far than joy,
And we should ever try to find them out.
There is a pearl of good in every pain,
A priceless gem in every seeming ill,
A diadem unwrought by holy hands,
For every soul that to the end endures.
O be it mine to learn from all my griefs
The lessons which they are designed to teach;
Grow wiser by each pain and woe I feel;
Till death shall close my education here,
And usher me into that higher school,
Where Christ the Lord shall teach me all I want to know:


――――♦――――

 
I THANK THEE, FATHER.


I THANK Thee, Father, for the gift of life
    And all that Thou hast given with it beside —
The power to choose Thy service in the strife,
    And be with Thee and all the good allied.

O, wondrous gift! its worth no tongue can tell,
    This power of choosing Thee and all things good,
And serving from pure love, not fear of hell;
    A glorious freedom this, that thrills the blood,

And kindles in the soul a hallowed flame,
    Consuming all the lusts that lurk within;
Refining, purifying all the frame;
    Destroying all the force of inbred sin.

Man by this God-given power becomes like God,
    Of his own motion choosing good alone.
It is an ever-sure divining-rod
    Which makes to him ill's subtlest presence known.

And when in faith 'tis exercised aright,
    And good alone is sought with earnest zeal,
It fills his inmost nature full of light,
    Himself unto himself it doth reveal.

Thy service chosen yields a growing joy,
    Since Thou dost daily light and peace afford,
For purity is bliss without alloy:
    What madness, then, to disobey Thy word.

Great Father! Thou dost open wide Thy hand
    And freely offer all mankind can need,
But they Thy gracious love misunderstand,
    All blinded by their lusts and hateful greed.

Hence they Thy bounteous gifts and love despise,
    And madly put away Thy proffered grace;
Drunk with earth's Vanities, ingrate they rise
    And throw Thy blessings back into Thy face.

The world is full of shams and empty shows —
    Men worship these and Thy blest claims ignore;
Poor self-deluded fools, they hug their woes,
    And starve their souls amid Thy boundless store.

They walk in darkness when they might have light,
    And feed on husks who might have angels' food,
Die down into the blackest shades of night,
    Who near the throne of glory might have stood.

A few there are — alas! that they are few —
    Who live the life of heaven while here below,
Whose natures by Thy spirit formed anew,
    With deeds of purest charity o'erflow.

'Tis such as these who make our stricken earth
    Into a fruitful garden, green and fair;
Wherein all beauteous things of heavenly birth
    May bloom to fruitage in this lower air.

And I, like these, have chosen Thee.   My soul
    Doth glory in her choice; for Thou art mine,
And Thou shalt all my future life control,
    And every day be sweeter to be Thine.

O that mankind would rightly use their choice,
    And in rebellion break sin's tyrant spell,
Heirs to God's glorious heritage, rejoice
    In heaven and good, rejecting sin and hell.


――――♦――――

 
SABBATH ON THE MOUNT.


THIS holy day my troubled soul would spend
            Within no fane of stone,
But where heaven's arch of blue doth o'er me bend,
            With Thee alone.

Here on this mount, where Thou alone canst see,
            While zephyrs round me play,
My soul doth rise on wings of prayer to Thee;
            My vows I pay.

Just what I am, Thy searching spirit knows,
            And what I fain would be;
No man-made temple mummeries interpose
            'Twixt me and Thee.

Why should I try to hide in any place?
            Although Thy love I've spurned,
I feel Thy grieved yet ever-loving face
            Toward me is turned.

Why should I look for light away from Thee?
            Thou art the source of light;
And Thou dost wait to pour Thy beams on me —
            Dispel my night.

Unworthy of Thy love although I prove,
            Thy love pursues my way,
And will not rest until my answering love
            Thy love repay.

I will not grieve Thee longer — now I come
            With all my sense of sin,
And gladly take Thy love — now make Thy home
            My heart within.

With Thee alone upon this glorious mount,
            Far from my fellow-men,
Fresh streams of life I draw from thee, Life's Fount —
            I'm born again.

Now shall I feel Thee with me when I go
            Back to my busy sphere,
And may my life send out the hallowed glow
            That warms me here.

Help me to serve my generation well,
            With steady, constant zeal;
Till Thou dost bid me come with Thee to dwell —
            Thy face reveal.


――――♦――――

 
HOW WEAK WE ARE.


HOW weak we are, and apt to go astray,
    If in our erring selves alone we trust;
When fierce temptation comes we fall a prey;
    Our fancied strength proves but an arm of dust.

But when with childlike faith we look to God,
    And daily seek to lean upon His arm;
Bow in submission 'neath His chastening rod,
    Life's darkest paths we tread without alarm.

Those whom He keeps no evil can befall;
    By His great loving power encircled round,
They smile at danger, death does not appal,
    A perfect resting place their souls have found.

And sweet it is to feel Him ever near,
    His conscious presence yields continual joy,
Which leaves no room for anxious doubt and fear;
    But makes the song of praise a dear employ.


――――♦――――

 
CONSCIENCE.


IN the soul a voice doth whisper
    Soft as angel's breath of love;
And if we would hush and listen,
    It would tell us when we rove;
Lead us back, though we should wander
    In the paths of sin astray;
Warn us in the hour of danger
    Lest we should become a prey.

When temptation fiercely rages,
    And our souls are tossed about
On the stormy sea of passion,
    All but lost in gloom and doubt;
Then the sweet voice speaks to cheer us
    Through the darkness of sin's night,
And its gentle admonitions
    We should never, never slight.

For if we neglect to hear it,
    Give no heed to what it saith,
Then it fainter grows, and fainter,
    Till at last 'tis still as death.
And we lose our faithful mentor,
    Lose the guide we need so much;
Evil hardens all our nature,
    Till we do not know its touch.

May we ever seek its guidance
    While we walk life's unknown way,
Listen to its softest breathings,
    And its dictates e'er obey.
Follow wheresoe'er it leadeth,
    Humbly bow 'neath its control,
For it is God's voice that speaketh
    In the silence of the soul.


――――♦――――

 
OUR ANGEL GUARD.


MOVING unseen through the air,
Bending o'er us everywhere,
We have all an angel-guard
Keeping constant watch and ward.

Every deed he doth record,
Every look, and thought, and word,
Every feeling of the soul,
Lo, he writes it on his roll.

When forebodings fill our breast
With a wild and deep unrest,
Soon his snowy wings are spread
To avert the ills we dread.

Do we think of evil things?
Then the flutter of his wings
Wakes the conscience into life,
Warns it of the coming strife.

Turn we from the narrow road
That would lead our souls to God?
O'er our wandering he doth mourn
Till our wayward feet return.

Should the soul be dark within,
Fighting with some hated sin?
Stooping low he whispers "Rise,
Heavenward turn in faith thine eyes."

And when we our foe have fought,
Victory gain'd through grace besought,
His approving, loving kiss
Fills the soul with quiet bliss.

Moving noiseless through the air,
Bending o'er us everywhere,
We have all our spirit guard
Keeping tireless watch and ward.


――――♦――――

 
OUR LIFE.


WE know not what the hours may bring;
    Nor what our future loss or gain:
To-day we laugh and shout and sing;
    To-morrow weep and groan in pain.
Our lives, like tracks upon the sand,
    Are washed away by time's full tide;
And yet we do not understand
    But that we aye shall. here abide.

The sun breaks forth at early morn,
    Awhile the day is bright and clear;
But gathering clouds on storm-winds
            borne
    Soon in the darkening sky appear.
And so with life, its dawning bright
    Seems to foreshow a glorious day;
Till care and sorrow cloud its light,
    And all its promise fades away.

Alas! that we our hopes should fix
    On things so transient and so frail:
E'en in our good some ill doth mix,
    And change and death o'er all prevail.
No lasting joys we here may know,
    No solace for our yearnings fond;
And sad would be our lot below
    Had we no hopes this earth beyond.

Life's way we tread with lingering feet,
    And grudge the years we leave behind;
Earth's fleeting joys awhile seem sweet,
    But soon their emptiness we find.
And then we long for something more,
    Something that earth can never give;
Feel, what the best have felt before,
    How vain for self alone to live.

We only live as we resign
    Ourselves, our all, to God alone;
And cease to murmur and repine,
    His wiser will in all things own.
And then we live, and live, indeed,
    Our souls are filled with restful calm;
Our secret heart-wounds cease to bleed,
    Healed by the Great Physician's balm.


――――♦――――

 
MAN WAS NOT MADE TO MOURN.
(Suggested by "Man was made to Mourn," by Robert Burns.)


O, SAY not man was made to mourn,
    Believe not such his fate;
For in his inmost soul doth burn
    Hope of a better state.
Though untold ills beset his way,
    And sin hath laid him low,
He still looks for a brighter day,
    And seeks release from woe.

God made the earth a garden fair
    For man to dwell therein;
And all was good, no ill was there
    Before our parents' sin;
And when His word they disobeyed,
    And lost their blest estate,
Say not that He their suffering made,
    For they deserved their fate.

And now men by their actions make
    Much of the ill they know;
Of sinful pleasure's sweets they take,
    Though conscience whispers low,
And bids them wisely turn away
    From that which doth deceive;
Yet, spite of this, they fall a prey,
    And when too late they grieve.

If men will waste their precious time;
    Throw all their gifts away;
Neglect their destiny sublime;
    Their sacred trust betray;
Forget in folly that the soul
    Must unto God return;
Let passion break from all control —
    What wonder if they mourn?

True, so-called great ones in their pride
    Too oft the weak oppress;
And crime abounds on every side,
    And misery, want, distress;
And oft in war, for causes slight,
    Much blood is needless shed;
And dark Intemperance, with its blight,
    By thousands counts its dead.

These ills man on himself hath brought —
    He only is to blame;
Would that he could by these be taught
    How great, how deep his shame!
But man was never made to mourn —
    A nobler lot is given;
He in whose soul truth's light doth burn
    Finds earth the gate of heaven.


――――♦――――

 
LIVE WELL TO-DAY.


LIVE well to-day, to-day is thine alone —
    To-morrow is not, and may never be;
And yesterday no longer is thine own,
    But now belongs to thee.

Then take the task that's nearest to thy hand,
    And do it earnestly with all thy might;
Though men may cavil or misunderstand,
    Heed not their blame or slight.

What though the common lot of toil be thine,
    Thy task the meanest drudgery under heaven,
Thou mayst transform and make it all divine,
    If love thy labour leaven.

Work is the daily worship of thy hands,
    The service thou dost render to mankind
Must be the measure of thy worth, it stands
    The index of thy mind.

Arise, go forth, thy growing powers employ
    In helping those who need their loads to bear;
And thus thy life shall be a growing joy,
    Freed from all self and care.

Thus live each day, and so thy lowly life
    Shall be to all around a beacon bright,
Whose beams shall lead men upward through
            the strife,
    To heaven's pure joy and light.


――――♦――――

 
TO-DAY.


TO-DAY alone God places in thy hands
    To use for good or ill, just as thou wilt;
Beware lest thou let slip its golden sands,
    They cannot be restored if once they're spilt.

To-day thy Father's gracious call obey,
    And so prepare thee for to-morrow's sun;
Thou hast no wealth of time to waste away,
    Now is the time to do what should be done.

To-day rings out for thee a trumpet call
    To highest duty, or to lowliest toil;
Life's richest wine distils from trial's gall,
    For those who stand unscathed amid the moil.

To-day is big with issues — all thy life
    Doth hinge upon the ever-pressing now;
Then bear thyself amid this troublous strife
    As if each deed fulfilled a holy vow.

Delay not in thy course — life's speeding sands
    Will soon run out; haste to be good and strong,
And pure and kind, with ever helpful hands
    Make life a benediction all day long.

God ever lives in one eternal now,
    And now alone exists for thee, wherein
Thou mayst achieve with an undaunted brow
    Stern conquest by His grace o'er inbred sin.

To-day arise; thy better self apply
    With zeal to fill thy little sphere aright,
And make each moment golden passing by,
    And other souls illumine by thy light.

To-day, then, shalt thou feel within thy heart
    Uprise a well-spring of eternal joy,
Which ever comes to those who do their part.
    Love is love's best reward for love's employ.


――――♦――――

 
LIFT UP THY HEAD.


O EARTH-BOUND man, lift up thy head and see
The beauty Nature doth spread out for thee.

Why bend with stony stare on stony ways,
When sun and sky await thy upturned gaze.

Why herd in slums in pest'lent air and die?
Earth with her ample bosom questions "Why?"

What loss to live on gold alone intent;
Eyes blind, ears deaf, to all but cent per cent.

What foolishness to clutch at stones and sticks,
And grovel in a wilderness of bricks,

Besotted with the lust of sordid pelf,
Which starves to death the inner, higher self;

When thou mightst revel in the sunlit air,
'Mid light and love, and everything that's fair.

Why spend thy soul down-gazing on the sod,
When thou mayst look into the face of God?


――――♦――――

 
BE NOT DISMAYED.


BE not dismayed, O brother mine,
    But let this thought thy spirit cheer:
    'Tis God himself has placed thee here,
Thy lot, part of His plan divine.

Think not, because the world is wide,
    And teeming millions swarm around,
    No place or work for thee is found;
Thy work is waiting at thy side.

This vastness gives thee ampler room;
    These teeming millions more to serve;
    More courage, then, thy arm should nerve,
Hold high thy torch amid time's gloom.

In God's great world there is no naught;
    The smallest atom has its place,
    And does its work, and fills its space,
Obeys the laws His will hath taught.

Naught lives in vain nor dies in vain;
    The seed which fruitless lies in earth,
    Though to its kind it gives not birth,
Helps other seeds to fill the plain.

Each droplet in the ocean's foam,
    Though lost to straitened human sight,
    Performs its little office right,
Though doomed the sport of winds to roam.

Each blade of grass, and grain of sand,
    Though tossed by every zephyr's mirth,
    Goes to make up this wondrous earth,
To build or beautify the land.

And so no effort true is lost,
    No kindly deed is done in vain;
    Whatever lessens sin and pain
Shall yield a tenfold more than cost.

Then be not thou dismayed, O man,
    However poor thou art, and sad;
    By this sweet thought grow strong and glad:
I, too, am part of God's good plan;

And if my station here I fill,
    And do my work, although obscure,
    He'll know and bless the motive pure,
And crown what's done to His blest will.

Naught lives in vain nor vainly dies,
    But, working towards a glorious goal,
    Each atom of the living whole
Helps all the rest; and all shall rise

From sin and sufferings dark abyss
    Enlarged and purified in heart,
    When sin and woe have done their part,
In God's good time, to perfect bliss.


――――♦――――

 
LIGHT AT EVENTIDE.


LIFE'S day is drawing slowly to a close,
    It lingers like the summer's soft twilight;
And o'er my spirit steals a calm repose,
    I do not dread the night.

From me earth's fleeting joys must pass away,
    But heaven's unending bliss will soon be mine;
Who would not change the pleasures of a day
    For endless joys divine?

The night of death no darkness hath for me,
    Although its deepest shadows round me fall;
With eyes of faith through all its gloom I see,
    The end doth not appal.

Thrice-welcome shadows, welcome gathering night,
    Ye're but precursors of a glorious day,
Which soon shall break upon my raptured sight,
    And drive you all away.

Into death's gloom I look with fearless eyes,
    Because I feel the Master close beside;
E'en now, by faith, I see heaven's dawning rise,
    There's light at eventide.


――――♦――――

 
SOUL IMPRISONED.


SOUL imprisoned here awhile,
    Captive bound in fleshly chains,
Wondering at thy strange exile,
    Weary of thy mortal pains —

Know thy great deliverer, Death,
    Soon will come to set thee free;
Every pulse-beat, every breath,
    Nearer brings release to thee.

Born of God, this cage of clay
    Cannot hold thee evermore ;
Soon its bars must fall away,
    Thou, unfettered, upward soar.

Patience, then, in patience wait;
    Learn what God designs to teach;
This is but of life the gate,
    And the latch thou canst not reach.

Only He who gave should take,
    Life is His prerogative;
Then all preparation make,
    And by living learn to live.

Use thy life, God's holy gift,
    So that thou wilt bless thy race;
All thy fellows round uplift,
    Hallow every time and place.

This will fill thee full of light,
    Gild thy prison chains with gold,
Fit thee for thy gladsome flight
    To the land of bliss untold.

So when thou dost hear God's voice,
    Thou wilt be in readiness;
At His call thou wilt rejoice,
    Thy inheritance possess.


――――♦――――

 
OUR FATHER.


OUR Father — sweet and ever-blessed thought
    Amid this wearying turmoil, bitter strife!
    Thou art our Father; and our troublous life,
With changes and bereavements, losses fraught,
Is ordered all by Thy wise care; and naught
    Can happen to us but our Father's will.
    And hence, whatever comes there is no ill,
But good from every pain for us is wrought;
And, by the light and wisdom from Thee caught,
    We walk unhurt amid a thousand foes,
    And rise superior to all earthly woes,
In ways Thy Father-love to us hath taught.
    For, like a wreath of gold by Jesus twined,
    These words encircle Thee with all mankind.


――――♦――――

 
A PRAYER FOR ENGLAND.


GREAT Giver of all good, to Thee we cry,
    Behold our hearts, how they in secret bleed
    For our dear country, lost, undone, indeed,
Unless, in mercy, Lord, Thou drawest nigh.
By her advantages exalted high,
    Yet cursed through drink, her glory turned to shame,
    We know that she hath but her sins to blame,
For that her commerce droops as if 'twould die.
E'en nations cannot sin unpunished long,
    Crime surely brings its own envenomed sting,
Ills ever follow in the path of wrong,
    And on themselves both men and nations bring
Their many woes.   In mercy, Lord, forgive
Our England's sins, heal her, and let her live.


――――♦――――

 
DAY-DREAMING.


I SAT day-dreaming in the chestnut's shade,
    The present, past, and future filled my thought,
And in my mind I airy castles made,
    Although I knew they'd surely come to nought.
My past had known both failure and success,
    The present, too, could humbly show the same;
But of the future I would do no less
    Than dream and hope and plan a glorious fame.
While thus engaged there spoke a voice to me:
    "Is this, O man, what thou shouldst do with time?
And were thy talents only given to thee
    That thou the height of worldly fame might climb?
        Thou knowst they were bestowed for wiser ends
        Thy fate eternal on their use depends.

"Behold how vain the quest of those who've sought
    For fame's high honours on wide fields of blood:
How dire the devastation they have wrought,
    Their gains at best a fleeting, doubtful good.
And others who have tried to win the smile
    Of fickle Fortune and obtain her store
Have missed life's highest good; the gains of guile
    Have left them poorer than they were before.
All that the world can give were better lost
    If thou to gain it must thy soul neglect;
A million worlds were dear if they should cost
    The sacrifice of truth and self-respect.
        All evil gains are but vexatious dross,
        The more thou hast the greater is thy loss."

Now when the chiding voice had ceased to speak,
    O'er what it said I pondered long and well;
And then I thought: I am but young and weak,
    And if I seek for fame I cannot tell
How soon some little thing may trip me up
    And send me tumbling headlong down to death.
I know they're few who realise their hope,
    And oft the struggle's only wasted breath;
And so I'll choose the wisest, safest course,
    And seek for goodness, not for empty fame.
Then, looking up, I asked it from its Source,
    And called upon His ever-blessθd name.
        So, now, my life's an offering to my God,
        My aim to sound His glorious praise abroad.


――――♦――――

 
THE CREATOR'S CARE.


THE Hand that built the universe sustains
    The tiniest thing that lives in earth or air;
His smallest creatures' wants God ne'er disdains,
    But makes each one the subject of His care.
The Eye that marks the sun's majestic sweep
    Through space, beholds the humble sparrow's fall;
And sees the little things that fly or creep,
    And keeps a constant watch and ward o'er all.
The Ear which listens to heaven's anthem high,
    Is ever bent to catch the prayer of need;
And quickly hears each suppliant's tainted cry,
    Nor slow to grant the good for which they plead.
        The varied wants of great and small He knows;
        What they require His watchful care bestows.


――――♦――――

 
IS THERE A GOD?


"IS there a God?"   Go, ask it of the stars,
    Which sweep in silence through unmeasured space;
Behold them as they roll their fiery cars,
    Each one unerringly in its own place.
Or ask it of the glorious sun, and he,
    Methinks, would laugh the very doubt to scorn;
Then, pointing out his planet-train to thee,
    Would ask: "By whom am I, with these, upborne?"
Or turn and breathe thy question in the air,
    And hear replies from zephyrs o'er the lea;
Look round upon the spreading landscape fair,
    And mark the answer Nature gives to thee.
For thou, on starry heavens and flow'ry sod,
Alike mayst see and read: "There is a God."


――――♦――――

 
A LESSON FROM THE LOOM.


AWHILE I watched my busy shuttle fly
    Across the loom between the op'ning sheads;
And then I thought, e'en thus at my employ,
    I may a useful lesson learn.   Like threads
Our lives are woven in the web of time;
    Our moments are the picks which pass between
The sheads.   And if we make the woof sublime,
    The piece, perchance, may please when it is seen
By the Great Master's ever-watchful eye;
    And of His praise we each may get a share,
And His dear approbation yield in joy
    A rich reward for all our toil and care.
And we may find that when life's piece is made
We all shall be by Him far more than paid!


――――♦――――

 
FAITH.


BECAUSE the end of things we cannot see,
    Too oft we let sad tears bedim our eyes,
Forgetting that the things we dread may be
    God's choicest blessings in a strange disguise,
And for some high and righteous purpose sent,
    As to His greater wisdom seemeth best;
How foolish all our doubting discontent,
    When through great troubles we are greatly blest!
And as we are but blind and feeble dust,
    Through doubts and anxious fears so apt to rove,
How sweeter, safer, were that childlike trust
    Which leaves what may be to the Father's love,
And with unshaken faith doth calmly rest
    With inward peace and sweet contentment blest.

Faith's not presumption, but a privilege,
    If but in faith we do our daily part;
The more we trust, the more we honour God,
    And give to Him the service of the heart.
It overleaps the narrow bounds of time,
    And realises what is yet unseen;
Escheweth doubts, and holds distrust a crime,
    And scorns the shadows that would rise between;
Looks on the future with a fearless eye,
    However dark and dismal it may seem;
Dreads not the clouds that gather in its sky,
    But hopes they with unthought-of blessings teem;
Beholds in everything God's wiser hand;
Believes, although it does not understand.

Faith gives to works the moving impulse high,
    It is their life, and they its evidence;
And works on Faith's glad wings may upward fly,
    Rise far above the meaner range of sense;
And, gaining thus a higher altitude,
    May bid defiance to the things below;
While Faith itself is only rightly viewed
    When useful works its lovely image show.
And when these two essential things are joined,
    And fill their places in the human heart,
The thoughts are regulated and refined,
    The deeds proceeding from the inward part
Are purified, and the ennobled soul
Seeks all its lower passions to control.


――――♦――――

 
HOPE.


HOPE gilds the future with a gleam of gold,
    Bestowing many a taste of coming things,
    And, giving to anticipation wings,
We seem our land of promise to behold.
A ray of hope can cheer the meanest lot,
And make a seeming palace of a cot;
Awake the soul to new and high desire,
And heap its altar with celestial fire;
Put gladness in the heart, light in the eyes,
And lend new glory to the summer skies.
But chiefly doth it pierce the clouds and gloom
    Which hide the future from our wondering sight;
    It casts on death a flood of heavenly light,
And shows a path to glory through the tomb.


――――♦――――

 
CHARITY.


HEAVEN-BORN, thou point'st to heaven,
            and lead'st the way;
Thou art the essence of all good below,
Relieving want, and pitying human woe;
And, bringing back the wand'rer gone astray,
By thee the erring one is taught to pray;
    The sinner's warned to flee an awful doom,
    And light is thrown across the deepest gloom
Of dark despair by thy benignant ray.
To nature's night thou bring'st the light of day,
    And throw'st thy rich refulgence o'er the soul,
    And fill'st it with thyself until the whole,
Fashioned by thee, doth own thy gentle sway.
"Twixt man and man is no disparity
With thee, O lovely, God-like CHARITY.


――――♦――――

 
TRUST.


WHY carry we a load we need not bear,
And paint our future full of gloomy care?
The way untrodden is not yet our own,
Its dangers only unto God are known.

His loving hand hath brought us safe thus far,
He knows our needs, and what poor things we are.
And, as in th' past, so in the future He
The same unchangeable will ever be.

E'en as a child knows not a care nor fear,
If it but feels its parent ever near,
So should we trust in our great Parent's care,
And cast on Him the loads we have to bear.

O God, we know we are but feeble dust,
Help us to put in Thee a childlike trust,
And leave the future, though it be unknown,
To love and wisdom greater than our own.


――――♦――――

 
WORK.


WORK is ennobling, and a noble soul
    Counts toil the badge of its nobility;
And those who plan, invent, direct, control,
    Are kings more true than sceptred ones may be.
The idler is a libel on his race —
    He takes, but does not give a fair return;
A robber who deserves no name nor place
    'Mongst those who his ignoble life would spurn.
The worker may claim rank with any man,
    And boast the longest, grandest pedigree;
Trace back his line to where the race began —
    And who has worthier ancestry than he?
O mean's the pride which hath this truth withstood:
To work is manly, God-like — therefore good.


――――♦――――

 
MEN DO NOT KNOW.


MEN do not know themselves and their own hearts,
    They seldom sound their inner depths so far
That they can see what's in their inmost parts,
    And so they do not know how vile they are.
Thus, they deceive themselves till they are tried
    And fail, for failure teaches them how frail
They are; temptation shows how vain their pride
    Their trusted strength but little doth avail.
Alas! that men are so content to be
    Thus ignorant of themselves and prone to pride,
And so neglect, O God, to come to Thee,
    And have the needed light and strength supplied.
Would that they saw themselves with Thy clear sight,
That they might turn to Thee, and live aright.


――――♦――――

 
WE NEED THY CHASTENING HAND.


WE need Thy chastening hand, O God, to smite,
    Lest we should prize this sinful world too well.
Were life one summer day, unclouded, bright,
    We then might wish for ever here to dwell,
Forgetful of our higher, nobler life,
    For which we should with care prepare.
    Ills try our mettle, and the more we bear
And do and suffer in this state of strife,
The grander and the nobler we shall be;
    Our souls, enlarged, become more strong and pure,
    Because that Thou dost teach us to endure,
And by Thy tenderness leads us to see
    In all Thy dealings with us naught but love,
    And careful training for our life above.


――――♦――――

 
WOULDST THOU KNOW CHRIST?


WOULDST thou know Christ?   Then know thy fellow-men,
    And serve them, as He served them, with thy life;
    Make one with them in all their bitter strife;
Help Him to win the wanderers back again
Into the Father's home; share thou His pain
    Whene'er a weaker brother falls away,
    Or struggling, tempted sister goes astray,
And with Him strive these lost ones to regain.
Let changing creeds, and forms, and systems go;
    They are but passing shadows at the best,
    In which no soul can fully find its rest.
Be this thy prayer if thou the Christ wouldst know:
    "Thorn-crowned, teach me with Thee man's woes to feel,
    Thus more and more Thyself to me reveal."


――――♦――――

 
IN OUR GETHSEMANE.


SO cold we are, and overcome with sleep,
    We scarce can watch with Thee for one short hour;
We do not understand Thine anguish deep,
    We cannot measure Thy temptation's power,
Nor this Thine agony, O Christ, so great —
A lost world's woe, with all its crushing weight,
    Upon Thy gentle spirit laid, and Thou
    Alone to bear and suffer until now.
Alas! for us, whom Thou didst come to save,
    That we've so little sympathy for Thee,
And give so little back to Thee, who gave
    So much for us.   Alas! alas! that we
Are weak and blind, and slow to recognise
The purpose of Thy love and agonies.


――――♦――――

 
THE WORLD'S A WIDE EXCHANGE.


THE world's a wide exchange — a mighty mart
    Filled with the various wares for which men sell
Their peace of mind and purity of heart,
    And barter for the merchandise of hell,
Poor fools, their priceless all in all, and gain
But dross, mere sticks, and rubbish for their pain.
At such a bargain angels well might weep
    Hot, scalding tears that such a thing should be,
And Nature drape herself in mourning deep,
    The sun, ashamed, refuse the sin to see.

But men in their mad folly every day
    This utter wrong unmoved behold, commit,
And, grasping straws and grains of earth, away
    They pass into the darkness of the pit.


――――♦――――

 
THE MULTITUDE.


THEY do not think, the thoughtless multitude;
    They do not know how much they lose of good;
Their daily path with wondrous lessons strewed —
    Unheeded all, or else misunderstood.
They tread earth's floor, they see heaven's starlit dome;
    They hear the birds' glad music in the woods;
Fair Nature woos them, wheresoe'er they roam,
    With smiling flowers and gleaming crystal floods.
But, steeped in greed of gain, they heed her less
    Than e'en the beasts which browse in calm content;
They care not for her wealth of loveliness,
    Nor feel the softness of her blandishment.
        In vain for them are all her wonders wrought,
        They do not think, but count them all as nought.

Men will not think except on meanest things —
    Their meat, or drink, or dress, their lands, or gold;
    For these their joys, and health, and souls are sold;
And all are struggling slaves, yet might be kings,
Yea, such their eager thirst for sordid pelf,
    That some dare gamble with the lives of men;
Each struggling with his fellow, for himself,
    Regardless of his brother's loss or gain.
And so they live, if such a state is life,
    And die, if they who never lived can die;
Make earth into a very hell of strife,
    And their existence here a monstrous lie.
        Heaven's greatest blessings change into a sink,
        And perish — just because they do not think.


――――♦――――

 
THE ANGEL PAIN.


THE dark-hued angel Pain stood by my bed,
    I looked into her eyes so sweet, so sad;
    And as I looked my heart grew strangely glad.
I felt, before her lips the words had said,
While yet her hand lay on my aching head,
    That she was come to purify and bless,
    That benediction came with her caress,
And hope and trust drove out all fear and dread.

"Be still and wait," she whispered in my ear;
    "Behold, I take from thee naught but thy dross,
Thy gold refined the brighter will appear;
    Transcendent gain is thine from all such loss.
And when my work is done thou wilt be strong,
Eternal hope the burden of thy song."


――――♦――――

 
LIGHT FOR TO-DAY.

I.


ANOTHER day has dawned, another gift, dear Lord;
    Another day to serve my fellow-men;
Thy strength and grace and patience now afford
    To me as I go forth to toil again.
O glorious thought — that I can serve my God
    Here in my narrow, lowly sphere of life;
Not cowed by fear of Thy avenging rod,
    But, filled with love, go forth into the strife.
Yet I am weak; how shall I serve unless
    Thou strengthen me and give me light to-day?
My path is dark; alone I grope and guess,
    And stumble blindly o'er a devious way,
Unless Thou hear my cry.   Lord, give me light,
The light I need to-day; then all is bright.


II.


Now I go forth to serve, armed with Thy strength,
    Enlightened by Thy light, to do Thy will;
Once-heavy burdens lighter grow at length,
    And tasks grow easier in the doing still.
I thank Thee for the power to serve, but more
    I thank Thee for this inmost wish to be
To all my brethren, all the wide world o'er,
    A helpful brother, Jesus, like to Thee.
This comes from following Thee — the wish is Thine,
    Born of the love that Thou has waked within;
Increase, I pray Thee, Lord, this fire divine,
    Till it consume my selfishness and sin,
And daily grace and help and light afford,
That daily I may serve as Thou didst, Lord.


――――♦――――

 
LIGHT!


"LIGHT, light," my spirit cries, "O give me light!"
    Mere human lamps at best burn dim and low,
And only serve to show how dark the night,
    I dare not trust in their uncertain glow.
O Thou, who here on earth didst heal the blind
    And sick, and raise the dead to life again,
I come to Thee; I know Thou still art kind
    And powerful, willing ever, now as then.
Touch Thou my sightless eyes, the scales remove,
    That I Thy glorious light undimmed may see,
Walk in Thy path, live hourly in Thy love,
    And all my days be stepping stones to Thee.
Thus bless me, Lord, and give me clearer light
To read Thy Word, and works, and ways aright.


――――♦――――

 
OUR INNER LIFE.


OUR inner life is what we really are;
    Our outer, only what we seem to be;
    'Tis God alone our inmost thoughts can see,
The which we know are often very far
From what is right; and thus we are a show
    Of goodly things and beautiful outside;
But what is bad within we feel and know,
    Although we may from men its blackness hide,
Is ever open to God's piercing eye,
    And He will judge us not from what we seem
    To be, but what we are; we need not dream
Of cheating Him, He knows the living lie;
    However long and well it may succeed,
    He'll surely punish all deceit indeed.

But unto this there is a brighter side;
    Sometimes, e'en when the inner life is good,
    Its outward actions are misunderstood,
And darkness for a time its light doth hide;
    For black suspicion whispers doubtful things,
While Credence wags her head and looketh wise,
    Swift Rumour lends the gathering scandal wings,
Which still keeps growing even while it flies;
But, as before, the outside goes for nought:
    Although to man it seems as black as sin,
    God sees and knows the high impulse within,
And loves and honours purity of thought;
    And though He seems to tarry such a while,
    He'll surely crown it with His glorious smile.

Then let us see that all our thoughts are good,
    Our motives and our aspirations pure,
    Such as will God's all-seeing eye endure,
By Whom our every mood is understood;
He knows the ills that rankle in our blood,
    Sees all our struggles with the powers of sin,
    Which would usurp His place the soul within,
And shut out every wish or thought of good;
But if we yield to Him our inmost will,
    He'll hold it ever safely by His might;
Guide all our steps by His unerring skill,
    And make us conquerors in the unequal fight,
Until our inner life by Him refined
Is moulded perfectly to His pure mind.


――――♦――――

 
EARTH AND HEAVEN.


WHEN I survey this earthly dwelling-place,
    Whose charms are ever open to my gaze,
And somewhat of its grandeur, glory trace,
    I pause awhile in wonder and amaze,
Amid the splendour of lost man's abode,
    To ask myself if earth, accursed through sin,
Where all things change, where rot and rust corrode,
    And death commences when life doth begin,
Can be so fair, so full of all that's bright,
    O'er which the observant eye delights to roam.
O what must Heaven be like?   Where never blight
    Through sin was cast, where death can never come;
And rot and rust, and change and slow decay
Are all unknown, for nought may pass away.

When thus I think of heaven, I long to see
    Its gorgeous halls, its streets of gleaming gold;
For aye beneath its cloudless sky to be,
    And all its radiant landscape to behold;
To be where sin can never come to blight,
    Where all the eye beholds, like God, is pure;
Where day is never swallowed up in night,
    And everything doth evermore endure.
O Thou, whose hand hath made this earth so fair,
    Although man's sin hath marred Thy work divine,
It teemeth still with beauty everywhere!
    'Tis full of loveliness because 'tis Thine.
Now unto Thee from earth I cry: "Prepare
My spirit, Lord, at last Thy heaven to share."


――――♦――――

 
DEATH.


WE every hour are on the verge of death;
    Alas! we know not how, nor when, nor where,
We may be called upon to yield our breath,
    And pass for ever from this lower sphere.
And how we live decides our future state:
    Our deeds and thoughts will make our weal or woe;
Will open wide to us heaven's pearly gate,
    Or hell's dark portal in the realms below.
Yet, though death is a fixed and certain thing,
    The which will come in spite of all our care,
And though the moments such great issues bring,
    How few, alas! are careful to prepare
And use the precious moments as they fly,
As though they knew that they the next must die.


――――♦――――

 
II. Poems in Dialect.



ON THE DESTRUCTION OF DELPH WESLEYAN
CHAPEL BY FIRE.
JANUARY 7TH, 1894.


WHEN aw yerd 'at th' owd Chapel wur brunt,
    Wot tears welled into mi een;
Aw'd a feelin' o' love fur th' owd spot;
    Fond memories abeawt it wur green.

Aw use't to goa past it each day,
    As aw went an' coom fro' mi wark;
I' th' winter they used it soa mitch,
    Its windows wur seldom o dark.

Then aw wondered heaw it mut be
    This bitter wur placed in eawr cup?
God puts things sometoimes into th' foire,
    When He wants to breeten 'em up.

T'other neet, when nee th' ruin aw stood,
    Mi moind flew back into th' past;
An' aw thowt whot a place it had bin;
    'At, though brunt, its wark 'ud still last.

For here some good seeds have bin sown —
    Words of warnin', of courage, an' cheer;
An' kersunin's, an' weddin's, an' deoths, —
    Have o had a centerin' place here.

Here sinners for mercy have croid,
    Thur folly an' sin they've confest;
An' pardon's been freely obtained,
    The Father His childer has blest.

An' here within these owd wo's
    Rich an' poor together have come,
An' join't th' sweet chorus ov praise,
    An' look't forrud to heaven thur home.

Here lads an' sweet lasses have met
    Some shyly, an' plighted thur troth;
Made vows 'at have lasted fur loife,
    Or ended sometoimes i' mere froth.

Here scores ov dear infants i' white
    Have bin browt bi fond mothers, an' named;
An' here mony a poor stricken soul
    Has bin by the Spirit reclaimed.

Here, too, mony a pilgrim of toime,
    Weary, wayworn, footsore, an' owd,
Has fund sweet release fro' his sin,
    Coam gladly an' enter't the fowd.

These are things 'at noa foire con touch,
    They laugh at the finger o' toime,
They'll live when we meet up aboon,
    An' th' bells of eternity choime.

May this new place 'at's beawn to be built,
    Be grander an' better nur th' owd;
A birthplace of souls fro' the furst,
    A Bethel — a true Christian fowd.

When into th' new chapel yo flit,
    Just try to be o of one moind;
May yo have a new lease o' God's love,
    An' leove yore owd bickerin's behoind.

Then good fro' this foire will coam,
    This loss prove a blessin' indeed,
An' th' glory o' this latter heawse
    The former shall greatly exceed.


――――♦――――

 
FORTY YERS SIN'.


FORTY yers sin' ther noa "Stores" abeawt heer,
    An' fleawer wur three bob a peck;
Tay an' sugar wur luxuries then,
    An' we seldom seed fleshmayte i' th' pleck.
Then iv trade wur onnyways slack,
    Th' owd grocers would gie foaks noa strap:
An' they'rn gradely put to 't at toimes,
    An' had t' live o' "porritch an' rap."

When things wur i' fairly good trim,
    An' th' mills wur workin' o reet,
It took th' moast foaks o their toime,
    Their regilar payments to meet.
Paydays nobbut coom once a month,
    Mesturs kept th' brass as lung as they could;
Whot wi' credit an' shop books i' goa,
    A mon never knew heaw he stud.

Then, ther're scores o' foaks o'er th' yed i' debt,
    'At couldn't tell heaw t' mak' a stur;
They'd noa gradely comfort i' life,
    They shawmed to be seen eawt o' th' dur.
But when this Co-opin' coom up,
    It very soon awtur't o that;
Wi' th' "divi" foaks paid off their debts,
    An' soon begun savin' quite pat.

Forty yers sin', ther're noa carpets o' th' floor,
    Neaw yo seldom see a heawse beawt;
An' th' windows are o curtin'd o'er,
    An' everything's noicely set eawt
Wi' antimikassys an' things,
    An' o sooarts o' new-fangl't prowt;
Front reawms wi' pyanos an' rugs,
    An' th' childer good manners are towt.

Forty yers sin' ther're nowt o' that sooart,
    For childur of eight went to th' mill,
An' they ran abeawt wi' bare feet,
    Foaks had hard wark their stumacks to fill.
Whot a contrast 'twixt that toime an' this!
    Yo'd think it wur hardly th' same spot;
Poor foaks are soa mitch better off,
    Fur they'n moor to wag on, a lot.

Neaw, 'stid o' bein' awlus behoind,
    Foaks han sav't up a toothri peawnd;
They'n gettun o' th' forehand a bit,
    An' things are better o reawnd.
They mey thank Co-opin' fur this,
    That divi's a very foine thing;
It coams in so hondy at tonnes —
    Espeshully when clothin' i' th' spring.

Neaw th' "Co-ops" are th' bigg'st shops i' th' place,
    They'n o sooarts o' fittin's an' plant;
Iv yo'll nobbut just ax 'em, they'll try
    An' get owt 'at ever yo want.
They started wi' little at th' furst,—
    Sugar, traycle, an' candles, an' soap,*
Poor, but honest, they didn't lash eawt,
    Thur way they wur careful to grope.

Mony a toime aw picktur t' mysel'
    Thoose committees 'at sit i' blue slops;
Heaw they wortch't to build up a trade,
    Pavin' th' way fur eawr big modern shops.
Aw respect thur grey yeds to-day,
    They wur o on 'em made o' th' reet stuff;
Men 'at help foaks to help thersels,
    We con hardly reverence enough.

Iv these owd 'uns did soa weel then,
    Whot could foak do neaw, iv they troied?
They moight soon ha' cotes o' their own,
    Ay, an' be their own mesturs besoide.
Neaw aw am nut dreomin', nut I,
    Nur yet to bamboozlin' incloined;
Fur ther's noa end to whot foak could do,
    Iv they'd nobbut be o of one moind.


* "The first purchase of goods, which consisted of sugar, treacle, candles, and soap, was distributed to the founders of the society in the pressing rooms of Messrs. Bottomley's Mills."—Vide the Greenfield Co-operative Society's Almanac for 1890.


――――♦――――

 
EAWT O' WARK.


EH dear! but aw'm gradely done up,
    It's soa tedious playin' th' day throo,
Fur toime drags soa drearily on,
    When a mon's gett'n nowt fur to do.
Wortchin' hard aw'm sure's a mere nowt,
    Aw think aw should feel it a treat
Iv someb'dy 'ud foind mi a job;
    To addle one's livin' is sweet.

Aw've bin reawnd to o th' mills i' th' place,
    An' aw've begged an' prayed fur a shop,
Mi shoon are worn deawn to mi feet,
    Aw've tramp't till aw'm ready to drop;
But, powfagged an' o as aw am,
    Iv aw'd th' chance aw'd start on a job,
Owt at o 'at's honest aw'll do,
    Fur aw havn't a cent i' mi fob.

Aw hoap trade ull soon tak' a turn,
    Then foak 'at are willin', loike me,
Will ha' th' chance o' paying their way,
    Howd thur yeds up as preawd as con be.
Gradely Wortchin' does a mon good,
    Mak's him feel independent an' o;
An' it brings true happiness, too,
    'At idle foak never con know.

Ther's neaw soa mitch trickin' i' trade,
    Speckilatin' an' sitch loike, aw'm towd,
Honest deolers darnut lash eawt,
    Gradely foak are fear't they'n be sowd.
Things owt nut an' need nut be soa,
    Willin' honds should never want wark;
When aw're Wortchin' aw're just i' mi glee,
    As blithe an' as gay as a lark;

But neaw, tho' aw've dun nowt 'at's wrang,
    An' addled a bit wheer aw could;
Aw feel it come hard dooin' nowt,
    This banglin' abeawt chills mi blood.
Aw shawm to be seen eawt o' th' dur
    Until it gets very nee dark;
To me it's a Wearisome gam,
    This bein' soa lung eawt o' wark.


――――♦――――

 
WHOT'S BECOME O' TH' OWD TRADE?
OR, TH' OWD HOND-LOOM WEIGHVUR'S LAMENT.


WHOTEVER'S become o' th' owd trade?
    Things are changed sin' aw wur a lad;
Then ther're looms i' o th' country soide,
    An' good wark could awlus be had;
But neaw, ther's noa looms to be yerd,
    Except thoose iron things i' th' mill,
They'n emptied o th' weighvin' shops eawt,
    Th' owd shuttles are o lyin' still.

Ther's noa gradely flannel t' be seen,
    "Flannelette" they seyn is o th' goa,
A thing made o' shoddy an' rags,
    Whoi, bless yo, it's worth nowt at o;
Iv yo put'n it i' th' wesh-tub be sure
    An' stick to 't, or else 'twill be gone;
Wur th' buyers but reet i' ther yeds,
    They'd ne'er look th' soide it wur on.

Aw've seen things some different, aw have,
    An' it mak's me goa off in a huff,
To think foak are wastin' their toime
    I' weighvin' sitch new-fangled stuff.
A bit o' good flannel's the thing,
    O wool, an' noa shoddy fur me;
One feels boath a pleasure an' proide
    I' weighvin' a piece fit to see.

When aw wur a big grooin' lad,
    Aw used to goa buntin' mysel',
An' 'th' mestur would look mi piece o'er,
    An' fauts he could very soon tell.
He're a very particular chap,
    Fur he ceawnted what picks aw had in;
To be raythur heavy wur nowt,
    But just a bit leet wur a sin.

Neaw ther's noan o' th' same proide ta'en i' th' wark,
    Iron looms connut feel whot they dun,
Fur they keep'n on waggin' abeawt
    As lung as their shuttles ull run.
Eh well! eawr owd trade's deein' eawt,
    Th' hond weighvurs are welly o gone;
Let's hoap e'en throo changes loike these
    Eawr country is still movin' on.


NOTE.—At the period referred to (1868 to 1878) every hamlet in Saddleworth had its weaving shop, generally a large upper room over the cottages where the weavers resided, and the rattle of the looms could be heard easily enough by the passers by.


――――♦――――

 
THER'S A TOUCH O' GOOD IN US O.


THER'S a touch o' good in us o,
    Divine, if it's nobbut a bit,
This thowt's loike a seed an' will grow;
    In o eawr experience 'tis writ.

I' some it's a love o' the truth,
    They've noa patience wi' humbugs an' shams,
They scorn false appearance, forsooth,
    An' soon detect th' wolves amung lambs.

I' others it's justice 'at's strung,
    Oppreshun's a thing 'at they hate,
Loike lions they feight against wrung
    When once they get fairly agate.

Iv they see someb'dy put on fur nowt,
    Their tungs are soon ready to speak,
Their blood boils within 'em loike owt,
    An' they awlus stond up fur the weak.

Wi' th' wimmen it's mercy obtains;
    Love, pity, an' tenderness meet
To help 'em to bear wi' loife's pains,
    An' that's whot mak's 'em soa sweet.

Wheerever humanity's feawnd
    Some trace o' God's image is theer;
Heawever degraded, discreawn'd,
    Divinity lingers somewheer.

Soa dunnut despair ov the wurst,
    But help 'em their record to mend,
They are nut o wholly accurst,
    Eawr Faythur is still their best Friend.

He yearns o'er His lost errin' ones,
    He woos 'em i' ways 'at befit;
An' o thoose 'at sey'n they're His sons
    Should try to act loike Him a bit.

He ne'er turns His back upon th' poor,
    He spurns nut the wayward an' weak,
But oppens full-woide mercy's door,
    An' welcome to o He doth speak.

Then let's tak' a patturn off Him.
    Give a hont to thoos 'at are deawn,
An' help 'em to get into trim;
    Nut fear 'em away wi' a freawn.

Iv we do but one koindness a day,
    Whot a lot it will mak' in a loife!
Whot scores will be help't on their way!
    Whot hearts will be strengthened i' th' stroife!

Ther's a touch o' good in us o,
    We feel it in holy desire;
Let us try an' get it to groo,
    This spark o' Divinity's foire.


――――♦――――

 
ON A VISIT TO INTAKE HEAD, THE BIRTHPLACE
OF THE LATE SAMUEL LAYCOCK.


Respectfully inscribed to my fellow traveller, Mr. ISAAC BARDSLEY, of Oldham, and our host,
Mr. G
EORGE MARSDEN, of Town Gate, Marsden.  August 18th, 1894.


LAYCOCK, owd brid, though gone to roost,
    Foaks still remember thee;
An' this to me's as preawd a spot
    As onny place con be.

Here ther's noa lordly castle owd,
    Wi' turret, moat, an' keep;
But just a' whoamly cottage heawse
    Built into th' hillsoide deep.

But 'tis fro' lowly wortchin' foaks
    'At th' world's best teychers rise,
Hence common spots an' cottage whoams
    Are sacred in eawr eyes.

Two theawsan' yer sin', very nee,
    This world's Great Teacher coom
To leet i' lowly Bethlehem;
    Sin' then fro' bench, an' loom,

An' farm, an' mill, an' shepherd's cote,
    True men ov God ha'n sprung;
To help monkoind to higher things,
    They'n suffer't an' they'n sung.

An' as fur thee, theaw worthy bard,
    'At sprung fro' this lone spot,
Theaw's cheered some scores o' warty loives,
    Enlivened mony a cot.

Throo' o thi lung an' useful loife,
    Theaw lived an' sung fur th' poor;
An' turned their thowts to One aboon —
    A Guide 'at's awlus sure.

An' neaw they'n put thee deawn i' th' greawnd,
    Thy songs are ringin' on,
Loike sweetest bells at eventoide,
    Just when the sunleet's gone.

Aw'm fain aw've seen this little spot,
    Becose theaw once lived heer;
An' though we connut see thi face,
    Aw think theaw mun be near:

Perchance theaw'rt watchin' us to-day,
    An' wonderin' why we weep,
When theaw'rt enjoyin' well-earned rest —
    A peace 'at's calm an' deep.

Well, well, owd friend, theaw'rt gone before,
    We linger still behoind;
But when eawr journey's o'er, may we
    Wi' thee a dwelling foind.

Adieu, sweet spot, pearcht uppo' th' hill,
    Henceforth to memory dear;
Oft 'mid loife's busy maze eawr thowts
    Will linger fondly here.

An' we shall hunger for that voice
    Whose music used to thrill,
An' vainly lung to grasp that hond
    Neaw lyin' cowd an' still.


――――♦――――

 
SPOILT WI' CHOICE.


AW know a chap neaw past his prime,
    He's noan wed, nur likely to be;
Aw'll just try to tell yo i' rhyme,
    Wheer he missed his way, dun yo see.

Aw feel a bit sooary fur th' chap,
    He lives at an eawt o' th' way spot;
An' he awlus looks o' one shap,
    He's left alone in his lot.

When Jack wur conceited an' yung,
    Wi' th' wimmen he thowt he're a pet;
He'd a greasy soart ov a tung,
    An' fancied hissel', yo con bet.

When he coom to sattle i' loife,
    Ther're six lasses i' Grenfilt he knew,
He would fix o' some one fur a woife,
    Soa he passed 'em o i' review:

Mary Ann wur a great buxom girl,
    Hoo'd a face loike a breet harvest moon,
Hur toppin' wur o in a twirl,
    An' hoo danced i' new patent shoon.

Isabel wur a smart lookin' lass,
    Red hair, an' bonny blue een,
Hur faythur had left hur some brass,
    Hoo dressed an' hoo wawked loike a queen.

Priscilla wur dacent an' plain,
    Good-finger'd, an' hondy i' th' heawse,
Nut gan to be floighty an' vain,
    Soa kindly, hoo'd ne'er hurt a meawse.

Sarah Jane wur tall, lanky, an' thin,
    Hur yed wur a meawse-colour dun,
Hoo'd a smile 'twixt a freawn an' a grin,
    An' a voice 'at went off loike a gun.

Betty Ann wur throddy an' fat,
    Hoo'd a waist loike a barrel, aw'm sure,
One neet he wawked wi' hur, quite pat,
    But never went nee hur noa moor.

Alice Maud wur some starchy an' trim,
    Hoo blush'd loike a new-oppun'd rose;
Soa ladylike, sprightly, an' slim,
    Wi' just the leost curl in hur nose.

Mary Ann wur bowd lookin', he thowt,
    Isabel wur raythur too fine,
Priscilla wur too quiet fur owt,
    Sarah Jane wur scarcely divine.

Betty Ann wur too fat fur his taste,
    Alice Maud, too pratty to last;
He made nowt ov a smo' waspish waist,
    Soa wi' choosin' he geet gradely fast.

Poor lad, he wanted soa mitch,
    He wur loike some foak 'at aw know,
Wi' stretchin' fur things eawt o' th' reach,
    Why, bless yo, he geet nowt at o.

Whotever hur felly expects,
    A lass, whether pratty or feaw,
Iv hoo's true to hursel' an' hur sex,
    Hoo'll ha' ways ov hur own, shusheaw.

An' nobbut reet, too, aw shud think,
    Let 'em be as they are — whot else?
Doan't suppoas th' wimmen's een yo con blink;
    Yo are nut sitch angels yoresels.

Soa lads, just tak' mi advoice,
    Dunnot look fur perfeckshun i' woives,
But choose lasses 'at's gradely an' noice,
    An' yo'll foind 'at they'll breeten yore loives.


――――♦――――

 
THER'S NOA GOOD I' FRATCHIN'.


THER'S noa good i' fratchin' at o,
    Backbitin', an' coin' feaw names,
Eawr faces are noan o aloike —
    They're different, an' soa are eawr aims;

But that's noa reason fur spoite,
    An' harbourin' ill-feelin' an' hate,
Fur keepin' owd grudges i' moind,
    Or settin' mad bother agate.

Aw loike a good argy mysel'
    Wi' someb'dy 'at's sense to tawk streight,
An' stick to whot's true, fur th' truth's sake,
    A mon 'at's abeawt mi own weight.

But fratchin's noa good, as yo known,
    An' feightin's a moighty seet wur;
Iv we fowt blood to th' een till we deed,
    It wouldn't put things onny fur.

Foin' eawt aw connut abide;
    Aw've hard wark mi temper to keep;
An' iv th' angels i' heaven con cry
    Aw'm sure they often must weep,

When they look wi' pure lovin' een,
    An' watch th' gooin's on under th' sun,
An' they see Christ's followers on earth
    Fo'in eawt as mitch as they dun.

Th' Church sey 'at thurs is the Church,
    An' they're o reet fur th' heavenly poart,
Ther's noa reawm fur owt obbut 'em:
    Dissenters sey "Nay, nowt o' th' soart."

Then they fratch abeawt paltry things —
    Positions, endowments, an' creeds —
An' co'n one another fur owt;
    Gradely foak are shock't at sitch deeds.

An' think heaw th' dissenters are split,
    Yo couldn't ceawnt soarts iv yo tried;
Independents, Methodists, ay
    An' a score or two moor beside.

'Stid o' bein' united an' strung,
    That's the very thing 'at they're not;
Whot a mikstur they are, to be sure;
    Aw'm fairly disgusted wi' th' lot.

An' whot it o matters when dun,
    Aw connut fur th' loife on me tell,
Except 'at they change wi' their wark
    Whot shud be a heaven, into hell.

Iv ever they get into heaven,
    Which way wi'n they shap it up theer?
They'll ha' to be different, aw guess,
    Fro' whot they'n bin whoile they'rn here.

Then i' politics, look whot a mess
    Every question one cares for is in;
These fratchers han muddled things up;
    True patriots would think it a sin,

Wi' th' country's best interests at stake,
    To troifle thur toime away thus,
Neglectin' great questions fur years,
    As, alas! eawr Parlyment does.

Ther's one party co's itsel' "Blue,"
    Another sings eawt 'at it's "Red,"
But aw think they're boath on 'em green,
    Or else gone wrang i' thur yed;

Fur instead ov o dooin' thur best,
    To get whot is best for us o,
Iv one lot just tries to move on
    Then th' other poos back, an' cries "Whoa."

It's vexin' to_think o' thur wark,
    Aw loike to be friendly an' free;
An' things would be better o reawnd
    Iv we nobbut did th' best 'at we see.

Just think heaw mitch noicer 'twould be,
    Iv we joined at makin' things nt;
"Stid o' pooin' eawr wark undone,
    We help't one another a bit.

Let's o get to wark in eawr way,
    To mend things as mitch as we con;
Mak' a start wi' mendin' eawrsel's,
    We con o improve uppo' one.

An' then whot a world we shall have!
    Heaw eawr Heavenly Faythur will smoile
To see o His childer at peace,
    An' free fro' dark envy an' guile.

Neaw, foak, just mark whot aw sey,
    Bear i' mind wheerever yo goa,
Whoteverls yore station i' loife,
    Ther's noa good i' fratchin' at o.


――――♦――――

 
FOO'S!

The United Kingdom consists of thirty millions of people, mostly fools.—Carlyle.


THER'S foo's ov o mak's i' this world,
    Aw couldn't ceawnt th' soarts iv aw troid;
Boath owd foo's, an' yung, a greyt lot,
    Little foo's, an' big uns besoide.

Ther's born foo's, an' made foo's as weel,
    Drunken foo's, an' sober foo's too;
An' iv ther wur noa foo's at o,
    Whatever would th' woiseacres do?

Aw wonder some toimes heaw it is
    'At foo's are soa thick uppo' th' greawnd;
Ther's noa rank or station i' loife,
    Wheer foo's o' some soart are nut feawnd.

Wheerever yo turn yo con see
    'At ther's foo's o' some soart i' th' place,
Bi chance iv yo look into th' glass
    Another ull stare yo i' th' face.

When things are o' th' awkurt side eawt,
    One gets sometoimes deawn i' th' dump,
An' wonders a bit to thursel',
    Iv we are nut o foo's ov a lump.

Cooartin' foo's are th' commonest soart,
    An' th' silliest foo's 'at ther is;
Just harken, neaw, o yo yung foaks,
    Aw've a wurd fur yo abeawt this.

A yung chap looks foolish, aw think,
    Runnin' after o th' lasses i' th' place;
While he cares fur noan as he should;
    Sarve him reet iv they'd smack him i' th' face.

Aw munnut sey th' lasses are foo's,
    Dar aw sey they are nut o'er woise
To noatice a chap o' this soart?
    Sitch puppies they owt to despoise.

Have nowt to do wi' 'em at o,
    Iv they han, they'll certainly err;
They shud flyte 'em as hard as they con —
    Send 'em off wi' a flea i' thur yer.

When yo're wed, yo con nobhut ha' one,
    An' to play wi' a lot moor besoide
Never does a chap onny good,
    An' mey hurt some true woman's proide.

Soa never begin sitch a game,
    Fix yore minds uppo' th' one 'at yo want;
An' be true to th' lass ov yore choice,
    Cooart honest, an' streight, an' noa cant.

Neaw, lasses, be careful to keep
    Yore virtue an' sweetness intact;
Iv yo're womanly, helpful, an' true,
    Yo connut fail to attract.

Dunnut flirt wi' this one an' that;
    Nur play an unmaidenly part;
Be sengle o th' days o' yore life
    Iv nob'dy wins th' love o' yore heart.

Fur weddin's too solemn a state
    To enter fur owt obbut love;
But wheerever two reet uns are joined,
    Ther's a foretaste o' heaven above.

Then ther's thowtless, good-naytur't foo's,
    Whoas brass seems to melt o away;
Shusheaw mitch they han comin' in,
    They'n ne'er owt o' th' forrand, nut they.

Whol ther's other foo's slavin' loike mad,
    Scrapin' up o 'at ever they con;
An' gettin' noa comfort i' life.
    Fur someb'dy to spend when they're gone.

Which o' these are the moast unwoise
    Aw'm sure aw hardly con tell;
Th' furst are foo's to pleos other foaks,
    An' th' second are foo's to thursel'.

As aw mezzur foo's up i' mi moind,
    Th' religious foo's th' bigg'st 'at aw know,
An' causes th' moast bother an' stroife,
    Ther's noa folly loike his below.

He goas abeawt pooin' his face,
    An' turnin' up th' whites ov his een,
Purtendin' to work hard fur God,
    An' roguein' a lot in between.

Yo mun oather tak' up wi' his creed,
    Or else yo'll goa wheer it's wot;
But iv heaven's owt loike whot he is,
    Aw'd raythur keep eawt on't nur not.

To miss gooin' to th' chapel's a croime,
    To miss payin' yore debts matturs nowt;
Square th' parson to whitewash yo o'er,
    An' nobody else dar sey owt.

An' as fur dooin' th' thing 'at's reet,
    Likin' others as weel as yorsel',
An' doin' as yo'd be dun by —
    That's o on't up th' street, yo con tell.

Ov o th' foo's aw've met i' mi loife,
    False proffesurs aw think th' wurst soart,
Aw connut help wonderin' sometoimes
    Heaw they'll fare when they get into poart.

But we'd better let that aloan,
    We shall o ha' to face up theer,
An' th' best an' th' woisest may foind
    That reckunin' ull mak' 'em feel queer.

Political foo's are thoose chaps
    'At think th' State shud feed 'em fur nowt,
An' give 'em good wages an' clooas,
    Then they'd never need to do owt.

They'n legs, but they dunnut want t' wawk,
    They'n honds, but they dunnut want wark;
Iv aw're raythur o'er-weighted wi' gowd,
    Aw shouldn't loike to meet 'em i' th' dark.

Aw think 'at foo's o' this soart
    Should be catch't, an' o label't "ass,"
Made to work fur eight heawrs a day,
    An' then be turned eawt to grass.

They owt to be o painted green,
    That colour their naytur would show;
A chap 'at wants other foak's stuff
    Is noan safe to live wi' at o.

Some moor foo's akin to these last,
    Alack! an' they're numerous enough,
They run o up an' deawn th' place,
    A-huntin' after chep stuff.

Shop windows are baited fur these,
    An' sales wheer they sell "under cost,"
It's hard to tell whot they gain,
    It's plain to see whot they've lost.

Heaw easy these foo's are enticed
    Wi' pictures an' presents wi' tea,
They buy boath their present an' th' stuff,
    An' are sowd thursel's, dun yo see.

Theese are 'em 'at poo'n wages deawn,
    That's heaw it works eawt i' th' lung run;
Yet they want th' top price for their wark,
    Will have it fur owt 'at they dun.

But o' sumheaw they never get on,
    Wi' o thur clivvur fose ways;
They're awlus poor an' i' debt,
    An' wi'n be to th' end o' thur days.

I' bargains they squander thur brass,
    Buyin' things 'at ull do 'em noa good;
They waste too mitch o' their toime,
    To think an' act as they should.

As yo see, aw've troied to descroibe
    Some o' th' foo's 'at we meet every day;
Drawn one or two picturs fro' loife,
    Set 'em deawn in a plain homely way.

Let's o try nut to be foo's,
    Do eawr best to act as we should;
Whot is bad we owt to avoid,
    An' do whot we know to be good.

An' neaw aw've finish't mi skit,
    Towd yo th' thowts at run i' mi yed;
Aw hope yo've nut fund me a bore;
    Think koindly o' whot aw've just sed.


――――♦――――


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